7 pct of enterprises use robots in 2018: EU data

ANKARA (AA): Across Europe, industrial or service robots were used in the 7 percent of enterprises employing at least ten people in 2018, statistics office of the EU said on Monday.

“Large enterprises use robots much more (25% of enterprises employing 250 persons or more) than medium enterprises (12 percent of enterprises employing 50 to 249 persons),” Eurostat said.

The data revealed that 5 percent of the small enterprises — employing 10 to 49 people — used robots last year.

The largest share of enterprises using industrial or service robots was recorded in Spain with 11 percent, according to the official figures. Spain was followed by Denmark and Finland with 10 percent each, and Italy with 9 percent. “The lowest shares were noted in Cyprus [1 percent], Estonia, Greece, Lithuania, Hungary and Romania (all 3 percent),” Eurostat said.

The statistics office said industrial robots — more common than service robots — were most frequently used in the manufacturing sector with 16 percent, while service robots were mainly used in manufacturing and in retail trade, both 4 percent.

“Enterprises use service robots mainly for warehouse management systems (44 percent of enterprises that used service robots), followed by transportation of people or goods (22 percent), cleaning or waste disposal tasks, as well as assembly works (21 percent each).”

Eurostat noted that robots consist of respective elements — mechanical structure, sensors, computer, control unit — and can be classified into industrial and service robots by the purpose of use.

“While industrial robots are mainly used in industrial automation and perform their tasks in clearly structured environments with external safeguards, service robots have a certain level of autonomy and the ability to operate in complex environments that may require interaction with persons, objects or other devices,” it said.